This series will feature the top NFL Draft prospects with insight from the beat reporters that covered them in college. This article is just a preview of the full interview which can be heard on the Deep Slant podcast.
Name: Myles Murphy
Height/Weight: 6-5, 268
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
Sidhu: Plenty of recent mock drafts have the Houston Texans selecting Clemson DE Myles Murphy with the No. 12 overall pick. What do you think makes Murphy such a good fit for the Houston Texans?
Turri: You have a really talented, fast athletic prospect. Yeah, he's a little raw, but you've got someone that's going to, if you have the right coaching staff, be a franchise changer. In a way, he could be a cornerstone to a defense. So when discussing Murphy, I think people tend to not understand how big of a thing athleticism has become for these coaching staffs in the NFL now, especially with the Texans. I know they they typically will run that 3-4. If you need to bounce him inside, you can bounce him inside and run him at a defensive tackle position if needed.
He's 6-5, 275. He hasn't had his Pro Day yet. I think he's doing it April 4th, but he's possibly 4.5,4.6 speed at defensive end. So I just think that a guy like Murphy is a tough guy to assess if you're looking just based off of the player as a whole, what you've seen out of him. Because it's about potential with Murphy, it's about what you can see in the future with him and guys like that. How many edge rushers run 4.5, 4.6 off the edge? It's rare. And how many of those edge rushers can you push inside if you need to run that 3-4? He's a unique player, very unique player.
Sidhu: He did speak at the Combine and said he thinks his greatest asset for NFL teams is going to be his versatility along with the power and the speed. He talked about playing everything from a three-technique to nine-technique and how he can play it all. Where do you think he might fit in the best?
Turri: When we're talking about going up against offensive linemen, we've seen him on the edge continuously beat people. You know, bully them with power, outrun them with speed. He's got it all. But if you want to play him on the inside, you're going to have to work with him. He's great but he has refining to do. He doesn't utilize his power as well as he could. He doesn't engage as well at the line as you would like him to, just off of what I've seen through the past few years of watching him. And it's not that he can't do that stuff, it's just stuff he doesn't do often. So I think he could seriously take advantage of offensive guards if you have the right coaching staff, instilling those pass-rushing moves into him. But against run defense, it might be a little tough against the guards, but he's definitely an edge rusher. He's definitely going to be taking on tackles. It really is just about refining those extra pass moves because that spin move is deadly, but you're not going to get by with a spin move every single rush. Murphy is a lot more NFL ready than I think people realize.
Sidhu: Murphy is going to hold a private workout for teams because he couldn't run at Clemson's Pro Day. Was he able to do anything at the Pro Day? What did you see from him and what do you expect teams are going to learn from him in that private workout?
Turri: He really, really wasn't active during the Pro Day. He was just kind of there speaking to teams, giving them just what you want to see out of them. Do we like him? Does he have that mindset? Is he professional? They really didn't get much out of Murphy besides just the talking aspect of it. But when it comes to his Pro Day, I think he's going to shock a lot of people. Travon Walker is a big one I'm going to discuss because that's like his pinpoint comparison for me, just because of everything that led up to last year. I think they're going to be surprised by how fast he actually is and how strong he actually is. His Pro Day is going to be a big upper for him. A lot of people, you'll see they worry about their Pro Day, they don't do specific drills. I think he's going to attack most of them and I think it should increase his draft stock because he's a weird one right now. He really is. I see him in the 40s, I see him in the top five. Everybody seems to be split on him.
Sidhu: What's your favorite moment or performance of Murphy in your time covering him?
Turri: Opening performance against Wake Forest, his freshman year. Normally, you would think, oh, a huge game where he's redefining the whole aspect of what that game meant. But his freshman year opening performance against Wake, you watched him and you were just amazed. He was run stuffing like you've never seen. I'm pretty sure he led the country that year, according to PFF, in run defense and you saw it on full display against Wake. He had two sacks, like three tackles for loss in that game. It was just one of those moments where you just sit there and you go, wow, the hype is real. This guy's exactly what we expected and more. That's definitely my favorite moment from Myles, just seeing what we had in him and then watching him develop throughout the years. He's a special player and that moment really just kind of cemented that we had a special player there.